Recipe – Cicciones with Pork Ragu

I love the chewy texture of this rustic Sardinian pasta – and the name which means ‘little fat ones’! This is the same pasta dough as we use for the lombrichi in our Be Inspired Sardinian kit; you can see a video of me making it here. The full-flavoured Serra Lori rosato, made from a blend of indigenous Sardinian red grapes, is a great match with this dish.

Serves 4-6 as an entrée

  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 stalk celery heart, finely diced
  • Salt flakes, to taste
  • 300g Italian-style pork sausages, skins removed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tablespoon finely sliced oregano leaves
  • 400g canned peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 50g freshly grated Pecorino Sardo

Hand-rolled Pasta Dough

  • 270g bakers’ flour, plus extra for dusting
  • Pinch salt flakes, crushed
  • ¾ cup warm water, more or less
  1. Make Hand-rolled Pasta Dough: put flour and salt into a bowl. Add half the water and mix, adding enough of the remaining water a little at a time to form a firm dough, you may not need it all. Tip onto a clean floured workbench and knead well with for about 5 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
  2. Roll into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour (overnight is fine).
  3. Dust a tray and half a bench well with flour. Place Pasta Dough on the unfloured part of the bench.
  4. Break off about a fifth of the dough and use the palms of your hands to roll it into a 1cm-thick log.
  5. Cut the log into chickpea-sized pieces and roll them between the palms of your hands into little balls.
  6. Dust well with flour and set aside on the flour-dusted tray. Repeat with remaining dough.
  7. Heat a large frying pan over a medium heat, add oil, onion, carrot, celery and a good pinch of salt and cook, covered, for about 10 minutes, until tender.
  8. Uncover and cook for a further 5 minutes or so, until lightly coloured.
  9. Add sausage meat, spread it out evenly in the pan and cook, without stirring, for a few minutes until well browned.
  10. Turn and cook the other side for a few minutes, until browned, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces.
  11. Stir in rosemary and oregano, then tomato.
  12. Add a cup of water to the tomato tin, pour it into the pan and stir to combine well, crushing the tomato and meat.
  13. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for 30-40 minutes, stirring regularly and crushing the meat and tomato, until it forms a thick sauce.
  14. Once sauce has reached this stage, continue cooking over a low heat and bring a large saucepan of well-salted water to the boil (10g salt for every litre of water).
  15. Add cicciones to the water and boil for about 12 minutes, until tender.
  16. Strain well retaining some of the cooking water.
  17. Add cicciones and most of the Pecorino to the sauce and toss for a minute or 2 to coat well. If it’s a bit dry, toss through a couple of tablespoons of the reserved cooking water to give a creamy consistency.
  18. Serve into flat pasta bowls, top with remaining Pecorino and drizzle with oil.

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